Food waste: Employee behaviour change campaign launched

Food and grocery businesses across the UK are helping their employees to reduce their household food waste through a month-long campaign co-ordinated by WRAP and food research firm IGD.

October marks the return of Working on Waste month which uses the collective scale of the industry to talk directly to employees as consumers, driving behaviour change and engagement to take learnings about food waste beyond the workplace into households.

Last year’s campaign reached over 650,000 employees from the food industry across 77 companies. Already this year, more than 100 companies from retailers to SMEs have signed up for the month-long initiative.

WRAP director Dr Richard Swannell said: “It was great to see the impact of combining our Love Food Hate Waste resources with the Working on Waste campaign and the influence this had on people in the first year.

“The number of people from the food sector inspired to take action and cut their own household food waste was impressive. This year, we want it to go even further and help many more reduce food waste, thereby saving money and reducing our impact on the environment.”

Key messages

IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch added: “A lot of progress has been made already by companies across the industry to help consumers reduce household food waste. However, seven million tonnes of food and drink are still being thrown away by UK homes every year, costing consumers £12.5bn – so there’s more work to be done.

“I’m thrilled to see even more companies coming together again in 2015 to deliver a campaign with even greater impact than last year. The food and grocery industry employs 3.8 million people, forming the bedrock of our workplace campaign but with the added benefit of translating learnings into households to touch even more people with our key messages.”

The initiative will see companies deliver food and waste training that will see employees share and implement tips to reduce household waste; run weekly competitions to crown ‘food waste soldiers’; keep and maintain food waste diaries; and create innovative recipes with leftover food.

Earlier in the month, Marks & Spencer announced it had launched a nationwide food redistribution scheme which will see 150 of the supermarket’s stores pass surplus food onto a host of local charities as part of its ‘Plan A‘ sustainability strategy.  

Matt Mace


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